Tune Your Grill! YES, your grill!


You can’t tuna fish but you can tune a grill!

And then you can grill a fish!

So you took the cover off your gas grill, cooked up some burgers two weeks ago, a steak last week and wow, what an adventure each one was. The near explosion on starting, the glowing red burners, the grease in the bottom flaming up. Your neighbors calling the fire department. Your wife wondering why your eyebrows were singed.

Okay, then admit it. It’s time to tune-up your grill. After all, how can you grill all summer with your grill in this shape. But how? Well, start with the basics and you’ll be amazed how much better your grill can be.

Clean it out: Get the grease, ash and grime out of it. No matter how you cook, this will build up over time. Take a plastic putty knife and scrape off the grime from the sides and bottom of the grill. Go to your local Ace Hardware, get a can of grill cleaner, we have many to choose from, spray it on and let it soak in to clean off the grease. Hose it out, or get your power washer to do a real good job on it. Be careful, don’t use too much pressure from a power washer or you’ll remove paint as well. Replace the drip pans as well.

Inspect your burners: These should be tubes with small holes, no big rusted-out holes. No bug or spider-web clogged holes, and no dents. You can clean out the small holes. If they’re too far gone, replacement burners are also readily available at, you guessed it, your local Ace Hardware.

Check the igniter: It should produce a spark easily visible, right near one burner. If it does not spark close enough to a burner, then it may take a bit too long for the gas to reach the spark causing a whoof when it ignites, which may scare the pants right off you. Then you’ll be standing on your patio with no pants and your neighbors will think you’ve lost it. So, adjust the igniter, or see about getting a new one at the helpful hardware place.

Clean the cooking grids: Heat them up, then scrape well with a grill cleaning brush. You may need to re-season cast iron grates. If your grate is too rusty, too far gone, they’re also replaceable. If you have porcelain grids, they may come clean in your dishwasher.

Look at your briquettes or Weber flavorizer bars. Briquettes or lava rock get clogged with grease and food droppings easily and will flame up like a volcano. Metal flavorizer bars rust away. Take both of these out, look them over and think about replacing them.

Sounds like a lot, but it’s really not that bad. A little bit of time, and not that much money can extend the life of your grill several years and make all your grilling safer and more enjoyable. Not to mention how much better that fish will taste on a tuned-up grill!